AD Calls For Resumption Of Gozo Cargo Ferry Service
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In a press statement issued today, Dr Harry Vassallo, Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika said that the suspension of the cargo ferry service to Gozo from Sa Maison is evidence of a monopolistic attitude towards clients and other persons impacted by the suspension of the service.
“The take it or leave it attitude also infects the Ministry for Gozo which has been totally absent on this issue pending the long awaited inauguration of the Mgarr passenger terminal which has been delayed so long that any such ceremony will only serve to remind ferry users of the costs they have incurred.” Dr Vassallo said.
“The cargo ferry service from Sa Maison has been suspended indefinitely since March” Dr Vassallo said. He added that enquiries with the Gozo Channel Company produced the response that the service has been discontinued pending repairs to the quays in Mgarr Harbour and because it is not possible to remove some fishing boats occupying a quay that could be used for the purpose. “At this time the passenger ferry service can only use one berthing slot and such ferries also carry heavy vehicles to and from Cirkewwa” said Dr Vassallo.
“As a consequence of the failure to make the necessary arrangements during construction work at Mgarr, heavy vehicles make a much longer road journey across much of Malta” Dr Vassallo said. “The additional traffic for months on end impact other traffic on the roads as well as residents for the whole additional distance. Passengers and their vehicles are often required to wait in the sun for the next ferry because of the heavy goods vehicles. It appears that the Gozo Channel Company has no concern for the inconvenience, the pollution and the stress occasioned by this failure and neglect” Dr Vassallo said.
“It is a clear obligation of the Gozo Channel Company, particularly in the monopoly situation it enjoys to advise the public of a definite date when the cargo ferry service will be resumed” Dr Vassallo said. “It is also an obligation of the Malta Maritime Authority and of the Ministry for Gozo to remove all existing obstacles for the immediate resumption of the service.” Dr Vassallo said.
Mr Victor Galea, Spokesperson for the Alternattiva Demokratika Gozo Regional Committee said that the constant increase in costs to ferry users has not been matched with an improved service. “Higher fares on the Gozo ferry cause a drop in life quality for Gozitans who forgo trips to Malta and lose out on the benefits of tourism originating from Malta.”